In April, you heard from us about potential elimination or cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps budgets. We’re happy to share the news that funding for AmeriCorps was not zeroed out, as the U.S. House of Representatives had voted to do, but was instead approved at 94% of the level of the previous year (a cut of $23 million). Once the overall funding level was determined, AmeriCorps proceeded to make its grants and Citizen Schools was successful in securing a new 3-year award that will support at least 214 full-time Teaching Fellows across our network. Support at this level in such a difficult environment represents an enthusiastic affirmation of Citizen Schools’ model and the results we have delivered.
While it’s frustrating to see overall funding for service cut when we believe the nation should be investing more in programs like AmeriCorps that build our human capacity as a nation, it is encouraging that Congress listened to the outpouring of support for service. Tens of thousands of phone calls were made by service supporters to Senate and Congressional offices. We know that many of you picked up the phone to call Members of Congress and we appreciate your support. Thank you!
The work to advocate for AmeriCorps and other service programs will continue. Next up is the FY12 budget, and this battle is likely to be even more fierce and require more persistent and broad-based advocacy. For Citizen Schools, funding for AmeriCorps in the FY12 budget is crucial to sustain and grow our service to our partner schools and communities. Stay tuned for more information, and know that your voice makes a critical difference in this debate.